Meet our Alumni | Agne Kazakauskaite – Class of 2019
I still remember my first day of class at the University of Nicosia, where I first met my Professor, Antonis Polemitis who’s first words to us were: “You cannot imagine how your decision to study a Master of Science in Digital Currencies will change your life.” He was right!
My background is in finance and consulting having earned a Bachelor of Science in Investment and Financial Risk Management from Cass Business School, London. I gained experience in the financial sector and carried on my career in the consulting industry where I worked for an influential Swiss consulting firm, liaising with international organisations, corporations and governments, specializing in analysis, research and devising strategies for clients.
One day in 2016, I was solving an issue for a client, who is in the shipping and physical commodities business. While untangling the peculiarities of this industry, I got to learn about the complex construction of the industry which involves multiple intermediaries and interdependent relationships, that all require trust. Without trust this global industry could not exist. Each participant in the cycle, plays a crucial role, be it from loading the goods onto the ships and inspections, to receiving letters of credit and insurance.
Coincidentally, a report on the future of the physical commodities business landed in my inbox and I saw the word ‘blockchain’ for the first time. According to the report, technologies were set to completely disrupt certain business sectors, including commodities trading. Blockchain was mentioned as one of the key disruptive technologies, in that it removes the intermediaries, and allows for unknown parties to transact with each other with trust. I was hooked!
Having heard about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies previously, I had not paid too much attention to it. But that day, I understood that if blockchain is what it seemed to be- then it is a revolutionary technology and a significant milestone in our lives.
Since then, whenever I saw the word ‘blockchain’, I did not leave it alone for a minute. I started researching for more information but back then very little was available. I searched for it all including educational courses; something, anything that could provide me with proper knowledge on this revolutionary technology. The University of Nicosia was the only educational institution offering not only a course, but a full Master of Science degree in Digital Currencies. I applied immediately and impatiently waited for my acceptance so I could start my studies.
And, what a great journey it was! The studies were intense and of a high caliber. Not only did the provided educational material make a lasting impression, but so did the professors and the lecturers. Besides gaining knowledge I was also extremely happy to have met such inspirational people. Weekly essay writings, regular tests, exams, discussions with professors and experts in their fields- all of this gave me a superb quality learning experience.
As Mr. Polemitis had said at the beginning- the studies did indeed have an immense effect on my life and career. When the world was waking up to blockchain technology, there were not a lot of people that had validated knowledge about it. Soon, I started to receive invitations to speak at conferences and participate in blockchain related projects in my home country Lithuania and abroad.
Today, I work for the Government of Lithuania- the Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation as a Senior FinTech Consultant. I can see how this current role brings all my studies and experience together in one place- finance, consultancy and technology.
Traditional sectors, such as finance, law, medicine- all of them are changing with the development of technology; entire industries are being redefined. If we want to take an active role in the current and future economy, we must enhance our skills and embark on a journey of continuous education.
I am extremely pleased that the University of Nicosia MSc Digital Currencies programme came into my life ‘in the right place at the right time’.
Senior Fintech Consultant
Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology of the Government of Lithuania (MITA)
MSc in Digital Currency – UNIC, Class of 2019